W D Hammond

Buller's Table Cloth

Buller's Table Cloth by W D Hammond

Artwork Detail

In this makeshift mortuary, a taxidermied pair of huia – Sir Walter Buller’s most famous specimens – signal the fate of the large dead birds that lie draped across the long central table, the trio hanging limply from the ceiling, and the single bird resting next to a glass of wine on a lamp table. Black brush strokes carve out a macabre scene on this canvas, which hangs limp from the wall. Here, Bill Hammond highlights the morbid aspects Buller’s interest avian taxidermy. The painting reveals an anxiety about colonisation’s impact, which is enhanced by the anthropomorphic features of these birds waiting for preservation.

Buller's Table Cloth
W D Hammond
Production date
acrylic on canvas
1682 x 1675 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of the Patrons of the Auckland Art Gallery, 1997
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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